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This month we're focusing on one issue because we're hoping to get your help.  That issue is funding for BC Parks.

The Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia

JULY 2016 NEWSLETTER

Have you visited our provincial parks lately and noticed any of the following?

  • Broken, missing or vandalized signage
  • Missing or damaged trail markers
  • Trail braiding, exposed roots, broken or missing boardwalk slats
  • Bridges in need of repair or closed due to damage
  • Poorly maintained campground facilities
  • Ecological damage from lack of monitoring
  • Excessive litter or dumping of larger refuse
  • Motorized off-road vehicles (snowmobiles, ATVs, dirt bikes, etc.) playing in our parks
  • Overflowing parking lots

Well if you have we need your help.  We want to document these issues because we believe that it's due to a lack of funding that we're seeing our parks looking less and less at their best.

Why has this happened?  It seems that our parks just haven't been a priority when it comes to budgeting our provincial dollars.  This is unfortunate because our provincial parks are actually a very good investment for BC.  For each $1.00 invested in our parks, visitors spend around $8.40 on food, entertainment, transportation and other goods and services. Source: BC Parks Annual Report 2014 – 2015, page 38

Add to this the fact that between 1988 and 2011, our provincial park system has more than doubled in size going from 6.5 million hectares to 13.5 million hectares.  That is a lot of parks and protected lands which require a lot of work and dollars to maintain.  Source:  http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/events/history/

The reality is that an operational budget of 31 million per year is not enough to effectively maintain such a large area and we're not the only ones who think so.  Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC and the Wilderness Committee have all been campaigning for increased funding for BC Parks.

In addition, in 2015, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services recommended increasing funding for BC Parks in their Report on 2016 Budget Consultations.  Their recommendation #30 on page 54 from the report reads:  "Increase funding for BC Parks and protected areas management, maintenance and provide more park rangers."

So a lot of British Columbians are on board with increasing funding for BC Parks - we need to make sure our leaders make it a priority for the next budget.
 


 

Here's how you can help

  • First - go for a hike in one of our provincial parks - that's fun anyways.
  • Second -  keep an eye out for the issues we're talking about or others you see and snap some pics for us.
  • Third - share those photos with us by emailing them to fundbcparks@mountainclubs.org and/or tag them on Twitter with #fundbcparks.   Be sure to let us know which park you were visiting.

Your photos are going to help us tell the story of how our parks are falling down and the effect it's having on user access and experience.
 



Additional Articles/References on the BC Parks funding situation

Our header photo of damaged trail signage in Pinecone Burke Provincial Park was shared with us by Stephen Hui.

Click here to view our Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Cloudburst. It's not too early to submit your stories and photos to our next issue! The deadline is October 1, 2016.

Use our online form to report motorized recreation observed within BC Park boundaries.
 
Visit Canada Helps to make a donation to the FMCBC - All donations go towards our Member Club Grant Program
 
The FMCBC is always looking for volunteers. Click here to find out how you can get involved.

 
The FMCBC is a proud member of:
As always, the FMCBC would like to thank Mountain Equipment Co-op for supporting the FMCBC through their generous contribution of office space from which to base our administration.
The mission of the FMCBC is to advocate for safe self-propelled activities (such as hiking, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, trail running and other backcountry activities) and the protection of BC's backcountry for current and future generations to experience.
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